Have you ever seen tears of joy? Volunteer for Habitat for Humanity and make it happen

By Fahimeh Karimi

It was so cold that I stormed through the parking lot as fast as I could to get to the C2 room, where I got warmed up by meeting students who were already sitting and enthusiastically watching a video. We were there to hear about the Habitat for Humanity and the work they do to alleviate housing poverty—and in particular to talk about this year’s May/June term course with our guest professor, Dr. Jim Kunz, who will be leading a group of students, faculty, and alumni to Romania to aid the disadvantaged with housing.

We herd everything we needed to know about the group and activities planned for helping with housing in Romania. The video showed students who were similar to many students around us, with no particular skill in building houses and constructions, working to change lives across the world. They brought smiles on children faces, caused tears of happiness in people’s eyes, which is obviously the biggest aim of Habitat for Humanity wherever they go.

“Ther is no experience in building is necessary to work with the Habitat for Humanity and volunteer time to help people build housing. You will learn everything what is being done there while doing it” this semester’s guest professor Dr. Kunz said.

What is the itinerary of the trip in short?

Thursday, Friday and Saturday will be spent in Budapest where we will begin our study of poverty housing in the region. There will be presentations held by Habitat for Humanity Hungary and Habitat for Humanity’s regional office for Europe & Central Asia, which is located in nearby Bratislava. On Sunday, we travel to Romania, and from Monday through Friday we will work 8 hour shifts every day. There will be special events throughout the week – cultural experiences with affiliate staff, such as market tours, museum visits, walking tour of host city etc. On Saturday the trip is over and we head back to Budapest where we will have a final team dinner.


Two  members of the Habitat for Humanity attended the meeting provided additional information and answered the questions asked by students.

How do you choose the families and what are the criteria?

“The families are chosen based on their family incomes and living conditions. People who spent more than half of their income just for housing are usually eligible. Most of these people help to build the houses as well.”

Where do we stay in Romania?

The accommodations are pretty nice in small family houses there, and everybody will have a roommate.

 How safe is the work condition there?

It is a pretty safe environment. All the students have to use safety equipment which is provided for the group in advance.

We wish everybody a safe trip to Romania!

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